K8 Hardy’s Outfitumentary

New York based artist K8 Hardy, whose talents primarily rest in performance, photography, and sculpture art, has recently completed yet another piece; Outfitumentary, an experimental film that Hardy started working on in 2001, documents, ostensibly, what the artist wore for ten years.

Filming herself and what she wore in small snippets on a near daily basis, viewers not only get a look into Hardy’s wardrobe, but also get some insight into what the artist’s day-to-day life was like; the audience will hear small bits of phone conversations or talks with friends, how Hardy’s attitude and personality evolve as she gradually becomes more comfortable in front of the camera, her changes in hairstyle, and the switch in surroundings that take us from different rooms in her apartment to her studio where she does most of her work, and even the different radio broadcasts and music she would have on at the time. Hardy didn’t look at any of the footage until last year, and ended up with about six to seven hours of film, edited together into Outfitumentary.

In an artist discussion conducted by Dr. Rebecca Duclos, dean of Concordia university’s Faculty of Fine Arts, Hardy was asked if there was a particular target audience that she had in mind while putting Outfitumentary together. In response, Hardy stated that she viewed her audience as “multifaceted” and that “anybody who was interested in art, fashion culture or queer culture could watch this, even those that may not be be into experimental film at all.” Hardy felt there was a resistance for young artists to point a camera at themselves, that there was a lot of potential and that this was an important medium “that has to keep growing and changing with time”. Her main inspiration behind this film, she said, was the idea of capturing the moment of what she was wearing for posterity.

During a Q&A session with Hardy after an advance screening of Outfitumentary that took place on the 18th of September, Hardy made it clear that she didn’t put clothes on for the camera, but
that it was simply what she was wearing for the day whether she was going to work, or if she stayed at home. “If it looked like I was dressed up,” Hardy said “it was probably because I was going out that night. I realize that I wore a lot of cowboy boots.” Ultimately, Hardy’s aim was to make this as natural and authentic as possible, that in the end it wasn’t all about fashion, but rather, “a portrait of time, an evolution of time in front of the camera, so to speak, and a change in personality.”

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